With the Winter holidays upon us, it’s a great opportunity to head out and explore and what better way than a road trip!
As much as we love holidays, the change in routine can be particularly stressful for some children. To ensure that the holidays go as smoothly as possible, here are some tips to help you and your children be prepared.
- Start the conversation: Start to talk to your child about “going on a trip” and the different activities that they could do in advance, that way it is not a total surprise for them! You can prepare your child by reading stories that talk about holidays. Or talk about the last time that you went on a trip and look at photos that were taken.
- Use visual aids: Use a calendar as a visual aid and cross out the dates until it’s holiday time. You can also create a social story with the help of your therapist to illustrate the idea of going on holiday and prepare for it.
- Get your child involved: Encourage your child to pack their own bag with their favourite toys and clothes. This makes them feel part of the process and gives them a sense of independence.
- Prepare toys/activities for a car trip: Decorate an old shoe box and fill it up with new toys/fidgets that are especially for the journey. Try to avoid tiny pieces that can get lost in the car and result in your child getting upset.
- Weighted toys or weighted blanket: Weighted blankets, vests and toys can help with proprioception (knowing where the body is in space) and can have a calming effect, especially if your child is feeling stressed.
- Incorporate movement breaks: To help your children regulate and release some energy! When stopping at a rest area play games that encourage your children move such as Simon says or play some music on your phone and ask them to dance and then “freeze” when the music stops.
Most of all, happy holidays! The Xavier therapy team are here to help. You can call us on 1800 XAVIER or complete one of our online forms if you are looking for therapy support for your child.